A group of caddies have filed a class-action lawsuit against the PGA Tour, seeking $50 million in compensation for wearing bibs adorned with the logos of tournament sponsors.
Filed Tuesday in the U.S. Northern District of California Court, the suit estimates the value of sponsorship on caddie bibs at $50 million annually, and notes that caddies neither receive a share of that revenue nor have they given their consent to the Tour for "commercial use of their likenesses or images."
The suit alleges that the Tour has "treated caddies as second-class participants in the game," citing an example from the 2013 Barclays during which the wives and children of caddies were kept outside of a caddie-designated shelter during a rain storm. The suit also notes the lack of "basic health care coverage and access to pension plans" for caddies.
The list of 82 plaintiffs is headlined by Mike Hicks, a 33-year veteran who has carried the bag for Greg Norman, Payne Stewart, Steve Stricker and Justin Leonard. Other plaintiffs listed on the lawsuit include Damon Green, Paul Tesori and Micah Fugitt, who currently caddie for Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson and Billy Horschel, respectively.
The suit was filed in the same district court as basketball player Ed O'Bannon's class-action lawsuit against the NCAA, which proposed similar arguments about the use of likenesses and images of college athletes.